Tillage, habitat space and function of soil microbes

I. M. Young, K. Ritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

245 Scopus citations


This review examines the effect of tillage on microbial habitat space, and the roles of microbes in influencing N-transformation processes within a heterogeneous soil environment. Literature relating tillage to microbial processes is assessed critically focusing on (a) degrees of physical disruption and N-processes, (b) interactions between organisms and the soil pore network, and (c) the role of soil structure in mediating oxygen movement to sites of microbial activity in soil. Spatial heterogeneity is shown to be a key characteristic of soil structure and N-transformation processes, impacting on predator:prey relations, microbial habitable pore space, and the modelling of the soil system with respect to denitrification. The latter area is discussed with respect to the notion of how a functional appraisal of soil structure may be approached theoretically, at the aggregate and soil profile scale. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalSoil and Tillage Research
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-02-15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Soil Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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